Can I just say how much I've enjoyed this season so far? The unexpected trip to the future has been brilliantly executed, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 7 marked another strong entry in the saga.
While not as overwhelmingly fantastic as the two episodes that preceded it, "Together or Not At All" did not disappoint as (most of) Team Coulson reunited, however briefly.
Kasius wasn't as dead as I expected from Jemma Simmons' rather violent attack on him during the escape in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 6, but it certainly gave him the opportunity to show that he's more than just a wannabe.
His apparent mutual attachment and loyalty with Sinara (despite apparently throwing her under the bus against Daisy) gave his character some depth. Sinara, too, got to be more than the silent muscle.
Faulnak (Kasius' brother) referred to her as "lowborn," providing some potential insight into why she doesn't just kill everyone and rule for herself when she's clearly capable. The Kree can be such jerks.
That was shown in Kasius' story about his disgrace! Send an unsuitable individual to lead an army, with no qualification for the role other than his family name, and then disown him when he fails. Nice.
Curiously, one might also notice an interesting foil for Kasius in none other than Phil Coulson. Take this line:
You call me weak. My strength comes from surrounding myself with loyalty.Kasius
Waaaay back during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Agent Gonzalez's big concern was that Coulson's team wasn't loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. or its ideals but to Coulson himself.
Here, we saw the flip side of Coulson in Kasius, who has apparently inspired just such a profound loyalty in Sinara, only Kasius was a total psycho who murdered his brother and treated humans like cattle.
Speaking of loyalty...
There've been some theories regarding Deke's identity, such as him being the grandson of Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter. Deke's apparent mercenary attitude shows consistency with Hunter's early behavior.
Hunter, of course, went on to sign on with S.H.I.E.L.D. when Coulson needed the help the most, being alone and on the run.
Now we have Deke, who declared himself to be "Team S.H.I.E.L.D" just when Fitz, Simmons, and Daisy needed help the most, being alone and on the run...
Whether or not Deke turns out to be related to Hunter and Bobbi, it does make for an interesting comparison. On a side note, it might be worth observing that Hunter signed on during the aforementioned "Real S.H.I.E.L.D." storyline in Season 2!
Moving on: I have to say that Enoch is one of my favorite recurring characters of the entire series. Joel Stoffer's deadpan performance provides some great laughs every time he appears.
May: How are *you* not eaten by those things?
Enoch: They have no interest in me, as I have no tender insides for them to extract.
May: Thought Fitz was done building robots.
Melinda May, the queen of stoicism, accused Enoch of being a robot. Just too much for words, right there. How many times has one character or another accused her of just such a thing?
I also enjoyed Enoch's understated wonder that she was still upright despite her injuries. Plus his advice that maybe she should consider other career options.
Seriously, I love this character.
The episode wasn't entirely perfect, and I did have some (fairly minor) complaints. Among them:
- The big Kree Flint killed simply stood there and let the kid make his rock-knife for several long seconds, instead of doing what Sinara did moments later.
- Not exactly a problem with the episode, more an observation: Faulnak and Maston-Dar clearly never read the Evil Overlord List. (Seriously, read it. It's awesome.) Don't toy with your enemies. Just kill them.
- Fitz sure recovered from that bullet wound fast. Must be the Power of Love!
- How are Yo-Yo and Mack supposed to find Fitz's hidden stash? "Level Three" isn't exactly a very specific direction, after all.
Fitz: Okay, if you guys really are going to fight a bunch of alien warriors, then you might be interested to know that in past I hid a crate of SHIELD tech in a wall on the base.
Mack: That's what I'm talking about. Thanks, Turbo!
Fitz: Level Three.
Mack: Wait a minute!
Yo-Yo: You mean the level infested with aliens that suck your blood?!
Fitz: Why was I su-- [sighs heavily] I'm not getting enough credit here. I traveled through time and space to find you! I think we're moving past that bit a little bit too quickly!
A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you, fellow fans:
- Fitz and Simmons managed to quote Shakespeare and Doctor Who in about two breaths. Nice! (That would be their "Once more unto the breach" and "Allons-y!" exchange.)
- The musical cue that plays when May realizes she and Enoch are on the Zephyr is, quite fittingly, the S.H.I.E.L.D. theme.
- That trawler must be really user-friendly. May at least had the excuse of previous piloting experience, but Coulson seemed to get on fairly well anyway!
- There were a bunch of great lines through the episode. Check out our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quotes page for a rundown!
- Mack and Yo-Yo staying behind with Flint will doubtless give Mack the opportunity to reunite with his beloved shotgun-ax, one of the items stowed away by Fitz's.
- The old woman who met with Enoch and Melinda at the end was an aged Robin, the little girl called "the Seer" who started the whole thing with her predictions.
Don't forget that you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online! Check back for more fun after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 8, "The Last Day," airs on Friday, January 19, 2018, at 9/8c on ABC.
What did you think of "Together or Not At All"? Did you find it a fitting continuation of the story? Were you happy to see most of the team reunited? Let us know in the comments section below!